Counting pumpkins

Today's screencast is really more of a movie with screencasting elements. The subject is Keene's annual pumpkin festival, which earned the town a Guiness world record for most lit Jack O'Lanterns.

The film is QuickTime-only for now, because I was trying out a new toolset and haven't had a chance to do conversions to other formats. Although I usually make screencasts with Camtasia Studio on Windows, this one was done entirely on my Mac. The screen video portions were done with Ambrosia Software's Snapz Pro X, and the video editing with iMovie HD.

Snapz Pro X is a marvelous tool for capturing both still and moving screen images. And in my first real workout with iMovie HD, I found that its newly enhanced audio editing makes it a great solution to the tricky problem of synchronizing narration with screen and motion video.

The screencast elements aren't as sharp as I'd like this time around, and that looks like another tricky problem. I captured them at full digital-video resolution, 720x480, because I might want to use the material in that format. But they're uncomfortable in a 320x240 web format. If that's your only target you could just capture at 320x240 and merge into a 320x240 version of your motion video. But targeting multiple formats looks like a real headache.

I can't wait for that infinite-bandwidth future we keep hearing about, when we can just pass around full-bore digital video streams like candy.

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